A robot footballer called Artemis is being lauded as ‘better than Messi’.
The android’s name is an acronym for ‘A Robot That Exceeds Messi In Soccer’ – and it’s due to play in a major international tournament.
Artemis, who uses ‘she/her’ pronouns, is highly sophisticated, and one of only three robots around the world who can run, walk and jump.
Dennis Hong, director at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory, said: ‘We’re very excited to take Artemis out for field testing here at UCLA and we see this as an opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics to a much wider audience.’
Artemis is now preparing for her biggest sporting challenge yet – competing against 2,500 other robots at RoboCup23 this July.
The huge contest will see robots split into different leagues before facing off against each other in football challenges.
Robots of all shapes and sizes are invited, from those only five inches tall, to those the size of adult humans.
The man behind the RoboCup tournament, Hiroaki Kitano, began the competition 30 years ago, with the aim of developing robots’ football skills so rapidly they’d could compete with humans by 2050.
Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) hope Artemis’s ‘first-of-its-kind’ technology will give her an advantage.
Rather than having stiff muscles like other robots, Artemis has muscles more like those used by real animals.
They are much more springy and stretchy, and give Artemis enhanced agility.
Dr Hong described this as ‘the key behind [Artemis’s] excellent balance while walking on uneven terrain and its ability to run — getting both feet off the ground while in motion’.
Previous UCLA robots include an android named Thor, designed to help with disaster relief, and the driving force behind the USA’s victory at RoboCup 2015.
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